The Stihl MSA 161 T Battery Chainsaw: Features, Specs, Battery Info, and Review!

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Should you get a Stihl MSA 161 T?

It’s a lightweight top-handled chainsaw from Stihl’s battery chainsaw series.

This model is sold with a 12-inch bar and usually includes a battery and charger. There is an option to buy without a battery and charger, as some people may already those from previous purchases of other Stihl power tools.

What else do you need to know about the Stihl MSA 161T? Take a look and find out!

The Stihl 161T

Stihl MSA 161 T

  • Stihl's mid-range battery saw
  • 36 V w/ 12" bar
  • 5.51 lbs
View On Acme ToolsView On Ace Hardware

Husqvarna T435

  • A Husky gas alternative
  • 35 cc w/ 12" bar
  • 7.5 lbs
View On AmazonView On Acme Tools


  • The lightest gas chainsaw
  • 25 cc w/ 14" bar
  • 5.2 lbs
View On AmazonView On Acme Tools

The following video is the best Stihl MSA 161 T review that you can watch, courtesy of Female Lumber Jack.

It’s best to see it in action because one of the biggest highlights of an electric battery chainsaw like this one is the sound.

The 161T is incredibly quiet and you can even talk over the top of it while it’s in use.

Other great features and insights from the video:

  • It’s a good size and weight
  • Easy to use
  • Great not having to pull start every time
  • Good battery life
  • Well balanced
  • Easy to use with one hand (though not recommended)
  • Fast cutting

It’s great for pruning, limbing, and cutting down small trees.

Homeowners, farmers, and arborists alike can have one of these saws on hand for small tasks that come up.

It should go without saying, it’s not for dropping trees or for working with all day long. It’s best for light work at short intervals.

Stihl MS 161 T Specs

stihl msa 160 t compared with MS 880

You can see how small the MSA 161 T (with a 10-inch bar) is sitting next to the Stihl MS 881 – the difference is quite dramatic!

Being battery-powered, it is a zero-exhaust chainsaw. And while there’s no need for motor oil and fuel, you will still need to fill it up with chain and bar oil like all chainsaws.

This saw comes with:

  • Commercial-grade, brushless electric motor
  • Delivers ideal speed, cutting capacity, and run times
  • Instant-start technology
  • Easy to use and maneuver

Without the bar and chain, the powerhead weighs in at 2.1 kg (4.6 lbs.). It’s a really nice weight when you’re lugging it up and down trees!

The recommended guide bar length is 30 cm (12″).

This saw has the Stihl Quickstop and Quickstop Plus features.

The first is a regular chain break when kickback occurs, while the latter is an additional chain stop if you completely release the handle with your right hand.

MSA 161 T Batteries

stihl msa 160 t review

These are the batteries that are compatible with the MSA 161:

  • AP100
  • AP200
  • AP300
  • AP300 S

They are available for sale on Acme Tools here.

Remember that the higher up the battery scale you go, the heavier the saw becomes.

The run time with the batteries isn’t great, so it is best to have at least two with you at all times. The AP200, for example, has an expected run time of 42 minutes.

You can use AL 101, 300, and 500 chargers with these batteries.

Stihl MS 161 T Review

MSA 161 T Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Very quiet
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Effective for small jobs
  • Well made saw

MSA 161 T Cons:

  • Max 12-inch bar
  • Limited run time
  • Only has so much power

The Stihl MSA 161 T is good for what it is designed for, but we shouldn’t expect it to go beyond that. It’s a small battery saw (though not a mini chainsaw) that you shouldn’t attempt to fell large trees with!

To finish off, here are two reviews from verified users – one negative and one positive.

stihl top handle

Lumber Jack Matt was hoping for more from the MSA 161. He thought the quality, dependability, and value were lacking. However, he thought the run time and power were about what you should expect.

stihl 161t review

Albert J thought the MSA 161 was awesome, giving it 5 stars on every point.

He is using the saw to prune 1000 trees on his orange orchard. His opinion is that it’s better than a gas-powered chainsaw because he doesn’t have to carry fuel around with him, and doesn’t have to waste time starting the engine each time.

Stihl MSA 161 T Chainsaw

What do you think of the Stihl MSA 161 T chainsaw?

Let us know down in the comments section below – we’d love to hear your feedback.

If you like plug-in models (which surprisingly, some do), check out the Stihl electric chainsaw range for those options. You get constant power with those saws, but you won’t be able to venture out into the wood with them!


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5 thoughts on “The Stihl MSA 161 T Battery Chainsaw: Features, Specs, Battery Info, and Review!”

  1. Where can you buy the MSA161 online? My brother in law has one and I really like it. I’m keen to order one online as I live rurally away from any dealers. Have tried to Google where to buy online but doesn’t look like there’s anywhere that has it in stock right now. Any recommenedations?

    • I’ve just had a good look around but I can’t find any available online that are able to be shipped. There are many retailers that have the chainsaw listed online, but you have to go in and pick it up in-store. I’ll update this if I come across somewhere in the future!

  2. Looks like this is probably one of the best battery or electric chainsaws, right? Was interested in the dewalt battery saws but now this one has caught my eye.

    • Yes, I would say the MSA161 is one of the best battery-powered chainsaws. You should also check out the Stihl MSA200 and MSA220. Definitely better than the Dewalt electric chainsaws, but more expensive as well. It all depends on how much chainsaw you really need?

  3. I have 3 MSA model Stihls, 200c, 220c, and 161t. I love each for their own reasons. I have two 300S batteries and one 300. I also have the remote belt battery holder. If you are a climber, I really don’t think you can beat the 161 and remote battery. It’s light, and can do some major work. I have many Stihl gas top handles so I know whats out their and what they’ll do.


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